Express Entry Current Categories to Remain Unchanged, Confirms IRCC

23 February, 2024

Express Entry Current Categories to Remain Unchanged, Confirms IRCC

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has officially announced its intention to maintain the utilization of the six existing categories eligible for category-based selection in Express Entry draws throughout 2024.


In a communication by IRCC via email alert, the department stated its commitment to selecting candidates with specific qualifications such as education, work experience, or language proficiency to meet identified economic requirements and priorities.


The six categories aim to attract candidates with:


  1. Proficiency in the French language

  2. Work experience in healthcare occupations

  3. Work experience in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations

  4. Work experience in trade occupations

  5. Work experience in transport occupations

  6. Work experience in agriculture and agri-food occupations


Introduced in May 2023, category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates serve as a means to assist Canada in fulfilling its economic objectives.


In 2023, the selection of categories followed extensive public consultations involving provinces, territories, and various stakeholders, including unions, employers, settlement service provider organizations, worker advocacy groups, and immigration researchers.


IRCC's objective in targeting Express Entry candidates meeting these category criteria is to welcome newcomers who can address pressing workforce shortages in sectors vital to Canada's economy and the welfare of its citizens. Additionally, this initiative aligns with IRCC's mandate to promote the French language outside of Quebec.


At their introduction, IRCC emphasized that these categories would undergo annual review as part of the department's parliamentary report, with adjustments made as deemed necessary.


Category-based selection in 2023


On June 28, 2023, the inaugural category-based selection draw welcomed 1,500 Express Entry candidates with qualifications in eligible healthcare occupations.


Subsequently, throughout the remainder of the year, IRCC extended invitations to over 16,000 Express Entry candidates across 17 separate draws based on category selection. In 2024 thus far, a single category-based selection draw has occurred, inviting 7,000 candidates proficient in the French language.


Who is eligible for category-based selection?


Category-based selection is exclusively available to candidates with existing Express Entry profiles. Economic immigrants without an application in the Express Entry pool are ineligible.


According to IRCC, candidates meeting the criteria for an Express Entry program must have amassed, within the past three years, a minimum of six months of full-time, continuous work experience (or an equivalent part-time experience) in a single occupation, either in Canada or abroad, to qualify for a work-experience based category.


For candidates invited under the French language proficiency category, achieving a score of 7 in all four categories (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) in the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens is mandatory.


What is Express Entry?


Express Entry serves as a centralized application management system for three key economic immigration programs in Canada: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.


Utilizing the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), all three programs evaluate candidates based on various human capital attributes, such as work experience, age, language proficiency, occupation, and more.


Each attribute is assigned a score, which is then totalled to determine a candidate's overall CRS score. Candidates are ranked based on these scores, with those having the highest scores being the most likely to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in the subsequent Express Entry round.


Upon receiving an ITA, candidates have a 60-day window to submit their final application for permanent residency to IRCC.


If you want to know more about Express Entry and if you are eligible for it, take advantage of our free assessment! In addition, book an appointment with our consultants and have all your questions answered.

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